The Faithful Ones in the Early Spring Garden

Under a light rain I venture outside to the spring garden and admire the faithful flowers blooming there. These are the ones who really do bloom where they are planted, requiring little if any assistance from me.

I planted the Clematis a few years ago to fill in a spot of chain link fence.  It has been pleased to do that and more, happily climbing overhead onto nearby evergreens, spreading color everywhere.

This Rhododendron, though completely neglected by me, blooms heartily every year in spite of it.

The Candytuft gets no special attention either,

yet fills the air with its sweetness, attracting the attention of two residence cats, Benji and Tiger, who also appreciate its scent.

Sweet Woodruff provides a nice bed for the bird bath and kitty watering hole,

while this uninvited intruder fills in where I can get nothing else to grow

providing a nice background for a portrait of the handsome Tiger.

All are happy in the spring garden.

~  Susanne

A Spring Walk at Coulon

A perfect day begins with a trip to Starbucks and a walk at our favorite park on the shores of Lake Washington. We tried twice earlier this week to do just that but each time were turned back by the cold, wind, and rain.  One time we made it to the park only to sit in the car and drink our coffee with this view.

What a difference a day makes!   We woke today to a different reality:  crisp, clear, and sunny with a temperature of 64 F in the forecast, the highest this year.

We head to Gene Coulon Park in Renton with drinks in hand and are rewarded with the bluest of blues and air fresh and washed clean.

We weren’t the only ones out.  This mama duck and her babies were enjoying a swim together…

While this turtle basked in the sun alone.

These stony folks were committed as always to walking….

And the trees were blossoming and fragrant.

What a glorious day!

We are reminded again why we live in the Pacific Northwest.

~  Susanne

A Daytrip to Lincoln Park and Alki Beach

We finally got the rain free day we were waiting for and decide to spend it on a trip to Lincoln Park and Alki Beach in West Seattle.

After a short drive we arrive at the park and hike a lovely trail through some patches of old growth forest to the bluff overlooking Puget Sound.

A slight wind is blowing as we descend to the beach below where it is crisp and cold,  and the Olympic Mountains are seen in their full glory. The fresh air and saltwater do us good!

On our return through the park we come across this giant and stately maple tree.

Then it’s onward to Alki Beach where the first group of white settlers landed and founded the City of Seattle in 1851.

We stop to eat at nearby Spud’s Fish and Chips for the best fish and chips in Seattle.  Founded in 1935 it’s also Seattle’s oldest fast food restaurant.  On it’s walls are pictures of early Seattle history including Luna Park, considered the Coney Island of the West, which operated at Alki Beach from 1907 – 1913.

I was pleased to see photographs taken by O.T. Frasch, an early Seattle photographer who also happens to be my great grandfather.  (Maybe that’s where I get my interest in photography?)

After lunch we move on for views of Seattle’s skyline, starting with a sneak peak at the Space Needle and the Cascades behind.

Speaking of mountains, in addition to the Olympics and Cascades we also find nice views of Mt Baker to the north;  while Mt Rainier can be seen blending into the milky sky to the south.

This outing should tide us over until the next rain free day which according to the current weather forecast may be a week out.

Such is life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

~  Susanne

Rainy Days and Mondays

Another cold and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest and a Monday besides.  Though all things are green in the garden, work will have to wait.  We have been promised a day of sunshine this week and are hoping the promise is not vain.

Tucked inside, Mom and I play cribbage (don’t ask who won) and Tiger watches nearby, happy to be where we are.

Benji is tuckered out from last night’s prowling about and curls up for a good nap near the fire.  He is dreaming of tonight’s adventure.

There are worse ways to spend a Monday I suppose.

~  Susanne

Gray skies and post vacation doldrums..

Is it the jet lag, time change or bad weather?  Usually I’m ready for home after vacation, this time not so much.  I had gotten used to slow mornings, lazy days, and beach walks.  Sunshine, palm trees, and playing in ocean waves. Good bye Maui and welcome back to the Pacific Northwest where we are cold and wet and trying hard to break free from winter.  (February was the second rainiest on record in Seattle and we haven’t seen this much snowfall in years.)

Today the sun made an appearance through the cloud cover and I stepped outside for fresh air and to survey the garden.  There is much to be done.  Still, I found miniature daffodils in bloom, their brilliant yellow heralding spring to come.

I also found two boys more bonded than when we left almost two weeks ago, sharing their backyard kingdom and at peace with one another.

This makes me happy.  They know it does.

~  Susanne

More than half way there

After a rendezvous with winter earlier this week (was it really only six days ago?)

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the rain quickly followed and washed the snow away leaving only heavy clouds by yesterday.

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Today the sun emerged victorious giving us a foretaste of spring.  Still cold but perfect for walking so we headed to Gene Coulon Park on Lake Washington, where children played and walkers of all ages joined us on the path. The lucky ones sailed by in their boats.

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dsc02937-2Even Mt Rainier made an appearance.

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A small reprieve in the dead of winter to give us hope for spring to come.  Be encouraged.  We are more than half way there.

~ Susanne